618 Basic Group Counseling Skills

The Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England , funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) at Brown University Center for Alcohol & Addiction Studies, is offering a credited, on-line course on basic group counseling.

Group therapy is a popular setting for the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. As a result, a counselor will often experience their first and major role as an addiction treatment provider facilitating group therapy. Often the skills needed to conduct a group session are not formally taught within the treatment environment. Rather, professionals will gain their knowledge through practice and experience only. In response, this course will provide basic group counseling skills that apply evidence-based research into real world practice. In particular, skills that address heterogeneous group populations (various stages of their recovery process, age, gender, cultural diversity, sexual orientations, substance use, dual diagnoses, socioeconomic status, education, and support systems) unique to substance abuse treatment will be provided.

Most importantly, this course will address the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2006), TAP 21, Transdisciplinary Foundations, and the “Application to Practice,” Competency 12, a competent treatment professional must “Provide treatment services appropriate to the personal and cultural identity and language of the client,” (p. 22). This eight hour course addresses the following TAP 21 Core Competencies: Application to Practice/Professional Readiness (4hours) and Understanding Addiction/Treatment Knowledge (4hours)

In four weekly sessions, this course will use case examples and class assignments that facilitate “role playing” and subjective experiences for insight about becoming a part of the group system rather than the appearance of a “separate” group facilitator. Upon completion of this course, participants will have the counseling skills to “join” individual group members where they are at in their recovery process while utilizing their individual strengths and resources to create a “whole” resilient group.


Dee Lexandra, Ph.D., MSW, Florida LCSW and Certified Addiction Professional, has been actively involved in addiction treatment in Florida for the past 22 years. As an addiction treatment professional, her focus for more than 12 years, was group work in psychiatric and substance abuse in-patient and out-patient hospital treatment programs. Recently, over the past six years she has worked primarily as a consultant on the behalf of behavioral health organizations in support of the U.S. Military Service members and their families throughout national and international U.S. Military Installations. The focus of her professional experiences in addiction treatment include: education, training, research, counseling, and consulting. Dr. Lexandra received her Ph.D. in Family Therapy as a result of her study about what the client believed “worked” in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and is a Florida Certified Addiction Professional.

Course Objectives

  • Recognize the basic structure and principles of organizing and developing a clinical group.
  • Summarize steps for group cohesiveness.
  • Practice with the group to establish realistic, achievable goals consistent with achieving and maintaining recovery.
  • Observe the development of basic and life skills associated with recovery for group members.
  • Apply group counseling strategies to the individual characteristics of the group members, including but not limited to disability, gender, sexual orientation, developmental level, culture, ethnicity, age, and health status while creating a “whole” resilient group.

Course Requirements

This is a four-week course, beginning on May 21, 2012. Requirements are:

  • Required on-line reading (one hour per week)
  • Completion of pre and post test
  • Completion of weekly homework assignments (one hour per week)
  • Participation in the weekly course forum
  • Completion of an on-line course evaluation

*Please note that there are no real time events associated with this course. Lessons will be posted on the class home page on Tuesday and responses are due the following Monday. With the exception of the first weeks lesson which will be posted Monday with the responses due the following Monday. Assignments can be accessed at the participant’s convenience.

A full refund is available up until May 29, 2012 after which there will be no refunds.


$60.00 Certification

  • This four-week course, which begins on May 21, 2012, has been approved by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) for 8 educational credits. It is being provided by the Brown Distance Learning program, which is accredited as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider (#000151).
  • This course is approved by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) for 8 Category 1 continuing education for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC’s). The CCB is an IC&RC affiliate.
  • The New York State OASAS does accept distance learning CEUs provided by institutions of higher learning for individuals pursuing or renewing a CASAC, CPP or CPS.
  • ATTC of New England DLP is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP ™) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. (provider # 6463) 14 clock hours will be provided for this event.

*Combined certificates are available upon request.

Certificates will be immediately printable from the course homepage to participants in the program for its duration who submit all required materials.

Please contact your local certification board to verify reciprocity or acceptance of The ATTC of New England’s Distance Learning contact hours.

To participate, you must have:

  • An E-mail address and the capacity to retrieve and send E-mail;
  • Access to World Wide Web (the following programs provide WWW access: Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Explorer)
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher is the preferred browser for ATTC of New England DLP online courses
  • The ability to navigate the World Wide Web
  • A basic understanding of how to use a computer and send and receive email


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 14, 2012 or when the course limit is reached.

To register for this course please log into your account or create your account then log into your account and click the Enroll in a New Course link at the bottom of your account page (have your credit card ready). On the Enrollment page select ‘618 Group Counseling’ using the left pull down menu. Use the right pull down menu to select the type of certificate you wish to receive. Once both the course and certificate type have been selected click the Enroll and Pay button. Complete your payment by filling in all required fields and following all on screen prompts. Once your payment has been processed your registration has been concluded. To register using alternate forms of payment (check, money order, or invoice) contact [email protected] for registration processing. To view payment information please use the payment policies.

For a list of current ATTC of New England Distance Learning courses, please go to the following site:


Please Bookmark this site for future references. Course announcements will be made via the ATTC of New England Online Course Announcement Listserve 6-8 weeks prior to the start of each course. If you would like to be subscribed to this list, please contact the ATTC of New England DLP at [email protected]

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